The Frontera Fund was founded by veteran journalists and human rights activists Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. The initiative is focused on assisting members of the Hispanic Community and immigrants from abuse and discrimination. It also funds lobby groups which actively defend the First Amendment and those which seek to tackle the plight of immigrants.
The Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund helps causes for justice across the United States but concentrates most of its efforts in Arizona, especially in Phoenix. Those who are actively involved in its daily activities of writing, publishing, and preparation of cases for trials brave very many legal and social challenges. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://www.crunchbase.com/person/jim-larkin-2#/entity
In fact, its foundation is in itself a very heroic tale involving two media personalities who risked everything to set a powerful precedence and to liberate the Arizona Community from an oppressive administration.
The Maricopa County Administration was plagued by the conspiracy of three officials to run civic and political havoc. As Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin accused the three big wig officials in their articles, and in a court of law, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, special prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik and, County Attorney Andrew Thomas were fired for their many offenses.
The three fabricated grand jury subpoenas in a negligent conspiracy to suppress the local dailies and to obtain sensitive private information about newspaper readers.
The two journalists had published condemning articles exposing the sheriff’s flagrant abuse of office and the American Constitution. As it turned out, the subpoenas were a concerted effort of the three to prevent the media from exposing them further and to punish the daring journalists.
The three were later served a piece of their own medicine when Larkin and Lacey publishing the subpoenas. The publication was made with a caption insinuating grand constitutional abuse.
The Sheriff cemented his downfall when he went out after Larkin and Lacey like he did his other victims. In the dark of the night, his deputies raided the duo’s homes in a sinister manner; with unmarked tinted cars. Larkin and Lacey were roughed up and taken to their jailer, Sheriff Arpaio who got the county attorney to charge them.
They were charged with violation of grand jury secrecy laws. Ironically, they were put in different cells despite their joint arrival. The public was quick to protest the foul play. Larkin and Lacey are high-profile Arizona media personalities and their spouses got an audience to report the arrests easily.
To prevent further public consequences and to reduce the chances of getting investigated, the county officials dropped their charges. However, they had already sealed their fates. The two journalists were determined to seek justice for the community and to end their tyranny.
They went to court to sue well aware that that would lead to their investigation; a consequence that would have led to public indictments. Read more; Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Jim Larkin |LinkedIn
Everything played out to the two heroes’ game plan. They had to keep appealing since they knew Joe Arpaio is a favored man. They appealed all the way to the ninth USA Circuit of appeals. They were lucky they could afford such litigation costs. They won the case and were awarded 3.75 million dollars in compensation from Maricopa County.
They founded the Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund and remitted the 3.75 million dollars into its account as a donation. They have since used the Fund to protect the rights of the same Arizona Hispanics and immigrants that the sheriff oppressed so much. He had allowed over 60 of them to die in his jails for treatable illnesses.
He was also accustomed to raiding their homes without a warranty and detaining them under deplorable conditions without any just reason. The Frontera Fund even supports civil rights groups pursuing the same causes as the ones of which Larkin and Lacey approve.